Downloading Student Assignments in Bulk from Blackboard to your iPad


Student submissions for assignments in Blackboard can be downloaded in bulk to view on your iPad. This can be useful if you want to review, grade, and provide feedback on submissions while offline. It also enables use of the Apple Pencil tool with your iPad to annotate and comment on student submissions. 

Downloading Submissions for Review on an iPad 

Step 1: Locate Assignment in the Grade Center 

  1. Open the Safari web browser on your iPad and navigate to your Blackboard course at 

  1. On the left, select Grade Center and then select Assignments. This will open a table with columns for each graded assignment. 

  1. If your iPad is oriented horizontally (landscape view), you will not be able to scroll to view items in the Grade Center that are not immediately displayed. To view items off screen, rotate your iPad so it is oriented vertically (portrait view). This will enable you to scroll through all assignments you have created by putting your finger on the row of assignment titles and sliding it to the left or right.  

Step 2: Download Submissions 

  1. Find the assignment with submissions you want to download and tap the small arrow beside its name

  1. From the menu that appears, select Assignment File Download

  1. The next page will list all students who have a submission for the assignment. Check the boxes for the student submissions you want to download, or just check the box in the top left next to “Name” to select all students with a submission.

  2. Tap Submit at the bottom right of the screen. 

  1. All submissions will be packaged into a zipped file that can be downloaded to your iPad. On the next screen, tap the link Download assignments now and confirm the download in the pop-up window that appears. 

  1. You can track progress on the download through a progress bar icon that appears at the top of the screen next to the URL entry field. 

Step 3: Review Downloaded Submissions 

  1. Close out of Safari and select the Files app represented by a folder icon in your applications. 

  1. In the left-hand column, select On My iPad. This will then display a folder called Downloads where all files downloaded from Safari are stored by default. 

  1. Tap on the Downloads folder and then tap on the zip file you downloaded from Safari containing the student submissions. This will expand the zip file into a folder. 

  1. Tap on the new folder to open it up and see all the files associated with students’ submissions on the assignment. You can toggle between icon view, which displays a thumbnail image of each, and list view, which displays file information such as size and date, using the icons in the right side of the tool bar. 

  1. Each student submission is represented by two files: an information file about the submission and the actual file submitted by the student. Each file name will include the name of the assignment, the name of the student, and the date it was submitted. 

  1. Open the information file to view the time the assignment was submitted and any comments students made about the submission. 

  1. Open the actual submission file to review the student’s work. 

Strategies for grading and providing feedback 

  • When reviewing formative assessments such as a draft paper, consider providing specific, written comments to help students improve before their summative assessments later in the term. 

  • Consider developing rubrics with detailed criteria to help simplify the grading process, provide more clarity for students, and ensure consistency in grading. 

  • Provide general feedback to the entire class, commenting on common strengths and areas for improvement you noted in their submissions, through a class announcement in Blackboard. 

  • If student submissions are uploaded as.pdf files, you can install the PDF Expert app on your iPad to use your Apple Pencil for annotating and writing on the document. 


Article ID: 117264
Tue 9/29/20 2:07 PM
Tue 8/23/22 10:45 AM
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